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January 15, 2009 at 5:25 pm 2 comments

The other day I got a pseudo-comment from a clinic specializing in eating disorders. It caught my attention and I checked out the website, because I thought if it looked good, I would forward the information. But I have to admit, I was very critical due to the fact that I am a sensitive human being and I was insulted that the person who sent it made absolutely no comment or reference to my blog. And even though I write it hoping to help other people and expect nothing in return, I am always happy to get feedback. So, the lack of personal touch made me critical.

I’m not sure what bothered me, but if I were still bulimic, I don’t think I would choose to go there. It sounds awfully restricted somehow. But maybe that’s just me because I don’t like rules or authority. (I have an authority figure problem.)

So I thought about writing a nasty reply, but decided to delete it and forget about it. Obviously, I didn’t forget about it or I wouldn’t be writing this. I was just standing in the kitchen making supper and it suddenly struck me what bothered me. The “comment” itself gave statistics on how many people die from eating disorders — including how many die during one person’s lifetime — and how the death rate is lowered through treatment. Well, that’s really scary, but I don’t think it would motivate me to get help.

When I started with bulimarexia, I didn’t know it had a name, nor did it even occur to me that it could kill me. But that was just the beginning. After a while, I figured it out. And then Karen Carpenter died. If fear alone worked, I would have quit my eating disorder that very day. I didn’t. It took me a few more years. Added to the frustration about all the money wasted, the embarrassment of having such a disease and all the stress involved in the secrecy of carrying out that behavior, came the fear and shame involved with the knowledge that I was slowly killing myself. So that’s why I didn’t forward the information. (Oh, and secretly I was kind of hoping to die anyway. At least, that’s what I told myself. Actually, I just didn’t want to admit that I wanted to live or still had any hope, for fear that people would laugh at me or that those hopes would be destroyed as well.)

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just hypersensitive or something. Actually, lately I’ve been thinking about what I’ll do when I move back to the States — in 4 or 5 years. After all this time, I decided I would like to work with people with eating disorders. I need to get some training and experience, but I’ve been fantasizing about creating some sort of a retreat-type place/space. So maybe that made me more critical as well, because I imagine a different atmosphere.

What type of atmosphere? Well, more positive. I mean, you can die from a lot of stuff, but people still do it. I mean, I didn’t quit smoking because it could kill me. I quit because it was affecting my voice and I like to sing. Oh, what was that film? Now I remember: “Charlotte’s Web”. Many of you are too young to remember, but Paul Lynde was the voice for Templeton the Rat whose famous phrase was: “What’s in it for me?” And that is my approach to giving up anything. What do I GAIN by giving it up? During the entire early stages of recovery, when the going was sometimes rough (that’s a major understatement), I kept reminding myself of how much better I felt and how much better my life was becoming. Ditto with not smoking. And it worked.

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Entry filed under: Levels of Recovery. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

Get some fresh air! Denial

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lola Snow  |  January 17, 2009 at 11:54 am

    It is too true and I’ve said it before. Eating Disorders aren’t like Hiccups, we can’t scare them or shock them away. I think a good statistic is just marvellous, but does nothing to remove the safety of an ED. It smacks to me of Negative reinforcement which just doesn’t work, people throwing statistics at me is about as much use as trying to beat my ED out of me with a stick.

    Pushing on the positive is the only way, and getting someone to notice that first positive feeling from a small change. Maybe a personal health scare can be a good catalyst, but being so frought with denial anyway, statistics about other ED sufferers have always fallen on deaf ears to me. I figure their only use is for raising the public profile in ED’s from a “Vanity choice” to a severe health risk. Thought provoking post

    Lola x

    PS – also has authority issues šŸ™‚

    Reply
  • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  January 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    For one thing there is that: “it can’t happen to me” frame of mind which we encounter just about everywhere — so why should peopel with EDs be different? And the scare tactics really only do encourage or cause anxiety, of which we already have enough!

    I wonder if scare tactics don’t also result just out of helplessness. After all, it is frustrating and one cannot reason with an addict. Or, actually, one can, but it won’t get them anywhere. Oh, when I think of how much reasoning I did with myself!!! It never worked. šŸ˜¦

    Reply

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